Pastor Mark’s eNote – All Saints Day: To Remember and Give Thanks
We remember and give thanks.
That’s what we do in the church, isn’t it? We remember the divine story that stretches back through the ages and forward to embrace us, and we give thanks. We remember the story of Jesus Christ—his words and gestures of truth and healing—and we remember how the Holy Spirit made Christ’s ministry the ministry of the church.
We remember it all and give thanks.
This Sunday—All Saints Day—we will remember that the grace of Christ and his holy calling embrace generations. We remember the saints who through the centuries gave their lives to Christ and walked in his way of love and truth. And we remember those people who in OUR days have touched OUR lives with God’s grace and have modeled for us the way of faithful living.
We will remember and give thanks.
Perhaps most importantly, on this Sunday we will remember and name those of our Hamilton Mill UMC family who in the past year entered into the Church Triumphant. In a few moments of worship we can’t possibly explore the fullness of their lives, but we can recall their place in our fellowship, the eternal love that embraced and embraces them, and the faith and ministry that, even now, we share with them.
Like us, the saints we celebrate lived lives of routine and obligation, joy and heartbreak, love and care, and yet, in and through it all, they were part of the wondrous story of Christ’s kingdom, a story written in faith, told with courage, and shared with love. In the timeless love of Christ, they, we, and all the faithful who will follow, are one in the great Communion of Saints.
It is important to pause and remember the amazing grace that makes that so. And, having remembered, what can we do but give thanks?
Rev. Mark Westmoreland